Much has been made lately of the idea that the Baltimore Ravens could hit wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. up about his retirement in the hopes of getting him to play a little longer. Smith has not done a lot of favors to that rumor by not coming right out and denying it, leaving believers out there that he could come back in 2016 for another shot at a ring.
When asked about his thoughts about the end of the season, Smith hinted that he was ready to end it just like he promised, yet still left the door open.
I’m taking it one game at a time – not really focusing on that other stuff. I’m on schedule for what I discussed earlier in the year, and I’m enjoying it with the wins and losses. A long time ago, a guy told me – he said – ‘You have to assess your play just like if you make a great catch. You examine and watch a great catch, and you use that same procedure and process if you make a bad catch, if you drop a pass.’ I’m always self-evaluating myself – watching the film – despite the outcome. I can’t allow the outcome to dictate how I prepare each week.
Senior was asked outright if anyone from the Ravens came to him and is beginning the process of begging him back for yet another season. Smith in all his typical convictions came back about as clear as you could get.
Man, we’re 1-5. You think they would be talking about persuading [me]? We’re trying to fix all the damn holes in this boat right now. That’s what we’re focusing on. Our focus is on Arizona. People keep saying that I avoid the question. It’s not about avoiding. This is a week-to-week season. It’s a week-to-week game. Every game presents its own issues, so I can’t keep following with, ‘This is how I feel.’ I’m prepared to play the Arizona Cardinals and whoever else we play after that. That’s what I’m prepared for, and after that and after that. That’s my focus. Each week, I have a different opponent that creates a different issue and game plan and all those things I have to deal with, so that’s my focus. It’s not on the other stuff.
Again, Smith didn't outright say that he was going to call it a season at the end of the year, but you get the feeling that he is tired of answering the question. He makes a good point that the Ravens have their eyes set on their next opponent and the rest of the season rather than trying to get a veteran to come back next year. I have no doubt that the Ravens will try and get him to come back, but that probably won't happen until much later in the season at the earliest and even then, I trust Steve Smith to stick to his promise to leave the league as a player at the end of this season regardless of the outcome.
Fans can get excited at the thought of the Ravens best receiver coming back again next year, but according to Senior himself, that excitement is premature.